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Ailesbury Clinic Blog

No association between Roaccutane and suicide

A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies addressing depression risk when taking isotretinoin (Accutane) found no increased risk for depression.

  • Acne treatment appeared to ease symptoms of depression.

Why this matters

  • Acne is a common condition and isotretinoin is the most effective therapy for stubborn nodulocystic acne.
  • In 1998, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning with regard to isotretinoin and risk for depression, psychosis, suicide, and suicidal ideation.
  • Studies addressing this possible link have been mixed in their findings.

Study design

  • Systematic review and meta-analysis of 31 studies addressing depression in patients taking isotretinoin for acne.
  • Funding: None.

Key results

  • In 6 controlled studies included in the analysis, depression scores from baseline were not significantly different (and in fact, improved) in patients treated with either isotretinoin or an alternative therapy (standardized mean difference [SMD], −0.334; P=.058).
  • Mean depression scores decreased from baseline (SMD, −0.335; P<.001).


  • No randomized controlled trials included in the analysis.
  • High inter-study variability.

Huang YC, Cheng YC. Isotretinoin treatment for acne and risk of depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 Mar 10 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2016.12.028. PMID: 28291553

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patrick treacy

AMEC AWARDS 2014 & 2016

Ailesbury Clinics are the only clinic in the world to have won two AMEC Awards and ' Best Medical Research in Ireland 2017'. Specialists in Dermatology and Aesthetic Medicine. We perform minor surgery + skin cancer screen. VHI, Aviva, Laya and Irish Health accepted. Hstopathology performed at St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin. Consultation €120  READ MORE Please read all of our Ailesbury Clinic BLOGS


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